“The Semantic Web: What It Is and Why It Matters” and “Linked Data & Archival Description”

Via the great Mashable site, a video explaining the Semantic Web (sometimes referred to as “Web 3.0”).

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Putting this in an archival context (although without any snazzy music), see also from the great Mark Matienzo:

If you find yourself wanting more, Mark has some other presentations available on Slideshare about the possibilities of linked data for archives.

Be Sociable, Share!

4 thoughts on ““The Semantic Web: What It Is and Why It Matters” and “Linked Data & Archival Description””

  1. The graph that shows up at the 4:33 mark in the Semantic Web video confirms that any archival database or DAM should have a XML core. I keep seeing databases built in SQL, and this shows how those won’t be able to link across the web effectively.

  2. Elizabeth,

    As someone who has worked fairly extensively with applications like DSpace and Archon, I have to disagree with you (if I have understood you correctly). You can have an SQL based database that has tie-ins via an API that provides all of the information and functionality suggested in that slide. You just need good programming to allow it to happen.

    DSpace is a great example of this. It generally runs atop an SQL-based database, typically of the Oracle or PostGreSQL flavors. Yet the programmers have provided XML based interfaces, such as the OAI-PMH interface, that provide for data exchange. Data is data, no matter how you store it. Good programming provides the access to it that you need.

  3. Yeah, baby. Now we’re talking! The first video is kind of overwhelming in its scope, but there is a lot of potential for sure. I like Tim Berners-Lee’s 5 minute 2010 followup talk on use cases for Linked Data at Ted.

    I would urge folks to look at some very tangible use cases in the world of archives. Can Linked Data get us out of the limitations of isolated archives? Can we use this to facilitate crowdsourcing of geotagging street scenes in photographic archives for instance? Can semantic publishing platforms and tools help make archives accessible and useful via API’s without requiring every institution to build it’s own API? We’re currently exploring some of these questions with the Civil War Data 150 Project. It turns out that some of the trickiest questions are not technological, but legal, in the realm of copyright and metadata.

    Because of the vast amounts of data held in archives, libraries, and museums, these institutions are going to play a very important role in the development of Linked Data and the Semantic Web. The use cases that we can dream up within the humanities for Linked Data are critical to moving us forward in this realm. Archivists are going to have a large part to play, to be sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.